Finding bike gear to be functional as well as look good is a tough call, finding that gear to also suit a lady rider, is near-on impossible…
A couple of years back, I had been searching high and low for a different kind of backpack, something without all those extra straps, that flap about. I wanted something I could grab with all my essentials in it, throw over a shoulder and jump on my bike, yet also something that would fit in when I dressed more feminine, for lunch and a Sunday sesh.
I love anything old-school but wasn’t thinking specifically for that style. I wanted a different look, with the functionality of a medium-sized bag. I wanted tough and hardy.
At the time, I was holed up in one of the many Tasmanian lockdowns of 2020 and one day, this Nomad sling from Jack Stillman popped up online. With its earthy, natural tones and bad-ass look, I gotta admit I got pretty excited and knew this was what I was looking for.
The MAD-13 Rolltop Rucksack is made to look, feel and serve like the time-honoured infantry bags of the early 20th century. The Drifter waxed canvas poncho… a ground cover, tarpaulin, shelter, poncho and blanket in one…
After researching the business, admiring the thought and design, along with the quality of materials used to manufacture their bags, I decided to invest in this product; a few clicks later, my Nomad sling was on its way from Fremantle Western Australia, to Clarence Point, on the River Tamar, Tasmania, where more ships were going past my little shack than cars.
I chose the desert colour because I loved the raw, unrefined yet cultured, old-school appearance.
When I removed it from the packaging, I have to admit I was not expecting the initial starched feel… it appeared inflexible and coarse, yet I was awed by the obvious quality of the canvas, brass and leather.
The stitching is simply beautiful on it; so very precise and sturdy. My other regular bags are fine leather or the typical hiking day backpack stuff, completely different material to the Nomad so no wonder it felt dissimilar.
I promptly realised what I was looking at and feeling, was exactly what was specified, a bag made tough and the sooner I started using it, the sooner it would start to soften, loosen and become individually unique to me.
So use it I have and soften it did… it continues to be one of my most trusty-used day bags, on or off the bike. There’s ample room to fit my daily essentials as well as a change of underwear and toiletries for a quick overnighter when not wanting to clutter the bike with unnecessary baggage.
Access to the guts is easy and one of the best things I LOVE about this bag is the bright orange lining! Seriously, I am soooo over trying to find stuff in bags with dark liners, the orange is perfect for finding everything I’ve put in there. It is organised well with generous capacity in the main pocket, a couple of small internal pockets for phone, purse, sunnies, etc. a small zipped pocket on the front and a rear zipper, which is a great feature to have as a hidden pocket, which sits against your body, handy for stashing items like your passport, or cash.
Versatile, comfortable and so in vogue, worn as a chest bag, across the body, or back, depending on what I’m doing with effortless access to the contents. If I’m on the bike, I’ll add an extra strap around my waist to hold the bottom close to my body, with the bag at the back, so it doesn’t get caught up in the wind. I’ve had some serious neck and shoulder injuries, so carrying something on my back, on the bike, is not a regular thing for me, yet with the sling style, draped over the ok shoulder, there isn’t an issue. I love the thickness of the strap; it’s wide enough to spread the load, yet slim enough to still look dapper.
I’ve not been caught in the rain with it, however, I know good quality waxed canvas that is seasoned and correctly cared for has terrific resistance to the elements. The combined quality and durability of 16oz beeswaxed cotton canvas, 100% vegetable tanned leather and solid brass hardware is simply beautiful, complimenting the old-school styling of the Nomad perfectly, assuring longevity, when cared for as directed. The brass zippers move freely to open and close on demand, yet stay put in the wind, unlike some lesser quality type zippers.
This is one classy product and the price reflects the excellence and sophistication of this superior bag, I’m confident in recommending this authentic, heritage-styled, Nomad sling bag to anyone, as it ticks all the boxes for me. Treat it well, it will last you through your riding journey, even pass it down to the next generation.
“The Nomad Sling Bag captures that heritage look but it’s made to perform not just look authentic. The genuine leather shoulder pad and belts are all hand-finished and add a sophisticated look to the rugged canvas of the bag.”
- Australian designed
- 16oz beeswaxed cotton canvas
- 100% vegetable tanned leather – hand-stained and burnished
- Solid brass hardware
- Water resistant but breathable
- Woven-in tough YKK zipper
- Weight 0.950kg
- H420 mm X L240 mm X W130 mm (the top peak is W180 mm)
- Strap length 780 mm to 1100 mm
- Approx. 12 litres
- Solid 2mm thick vegetable tanned leather anchors on all stress points
- Fit laptops and tablets up to 220 mm X 330 mm
- Internal organisation pockets
- Cotton, orange internal liner
- T-brace strap not included
Review by Katarina Dálaigh
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